Top 12 State Rankings

Rankings are based on current season results and consider each state's unique football profile (e.g. number of teams, leagues, limitations, etc.).  See our Methodology page for more details.  

# State Trend Comments
1 South Carolina -- Clemson (14-1) beat Alabama in dramatic fashion for its first National Championship in 35 years; South Carolina (6-7) lost in the Birmingham Bowl; three FCS teams made the playoffs; Newberry (DII) lost in the playoff first round.
2 Massachusetts -- The Patriots (17-2) came from 25 down against the Falcons to win their 5th Super Bowl Title; Boston College (7-6) won the Quick Lane Bowl; U-Mass finished 2-10; Harvard finished 7-3 (5-2 in Ivy League); Assumption made the DII playoffs.
3 Georgia -- The Falcons (13-6) tremendous season ended with a painful loss to the Patriots in Super Bowl LI; Georgia (8-5) and Georgia Tech (9-4) both won their bowl games; Valdosta State made the DII playoffs.
4 Pennsylvania -- The Steelers (13-6) were outmatched by the Patriots in the AFC Championship game; the Eagles finished 6-10; Penn State (12-2) lost to USC in a Rose Bowl thriller; Temple (10-4) lost in the Military Bowl; Pitt (8-5) lost in the Pinstripe Bowl.
5 Alabama -- The Crimson Tide (14-1) fell to Clemson 35-31 in the CFP Championship game; Auburn (8-5) lost in the Sugar Bowl; Jacksonville State (10-2) lost in the FCS 2nd round; North Alabama lost in the DII Championship game.
6 Wisconsin -- The Packers (12-7) late season run came to a screeching halt with a blowout loss to the Falcons in the NFC Championship game; Wisconsin (11-3) won the Cotton Bowl; UW-Oshkosh (13-2) lost in the DIII Championship game.
7 Texas -- The Cowboys (13-4) were upset by the Packers and the Texans (10-8) lost to the Patriots in divisional round playoff games; FBS schools went 1-5 in bowl games; Mary Hardin-Baylor (15-0) won its first ever DIII National Championship.
8 Virginia -- James Madison (14-1) won its second FCS National Championship in school history; Virginia Tech (10-4) won the ACC Coastal and beat Arkansas in the Belk Bowl; Old Dominion (10-3) won the Popeye's Bahamas Bowl.
9 Missouri -- The Chiefs (12-5) were upset by the Steelers in the divisional round; Northwest Missouri State (14-0) won its second consecutive DII National Championship and third in the last four years; Missouri (4-8) finished in last place in the SEC East.
10 Washington -- The Seahawks (11-6-1) were outmatched by the Falcons in the divisional round; the Huskies (13-2) lost to Alabama in the CFP Semifinals; Washington State (8-5) lost the Holiday Bowl; Eastern Washington lost in the FCS Semifinals.
11 Oklahoma -- The Sooners (11-2) won the Big 12 and beat Auburn in the Sugar Bowl; Oklahoma State (10-3) easily defeated Colorado in the Alamo Bowl; Tulsa (10-3) won the Miami Beach Bowl.
12 California -- The Raiders (12-5) fell to the Texans in the Wildcard round; the other three NFL teams all finished under .500; USC (10-3) beat Penn State in dramatic fashion in the Rose Bowl; two other FBS teams (Stanford and San Diego State) won bowl games.

Teams are assigned to the state in which they are physically located in (i.e. the state in which they play their home games). However, an exception is made for three NFL teams that are physically located in a state that we do not consider to be its primary state.

  • The New York Giants (located in New Jersey) are included in the New York rankings.
  • The New York Jets (located in New Jersey) are included in the New York rankings.
  • The Washington Redskins (located in Maryland) are included in the District of Columbia rankings.